An American festival in Tokyo

odaiba american festival japan

Odaiba, which I’ve posted on before, held an “American Festival”. I needed to know. If Japan is sushi, samurai, manga in the US, what is America in Japan? Oh, you don’t want to know. I was going to take photos but I knew I’d be taking them to jab and jeer. I will briefly outline the people and venue: Every worker was dressed in denim shirts AND jeans with HUGE cowboy hats. Over that women wore white homestead aprons and/or Aunt Jemima-esq headscarves. The shops were cooking up huge steaks on BBQ’s… Read More

The Bunkasai

Education is not just book learning. Japanese schools hold several team building events throughout the year which are viewed on par with academic performance. The teachers are only superficially involved in an administrative role. Depending on the event young people will be grouped by age, by class, by club, or randomly, but never by ability. From the chaos a leader rises, the group coalesces, and the events are held — sometimes for the public, as in this event, Bunkasai, or the Culture Festival. Several days before the Bunkasai all classes stop to… Read More

Colors, costumes, calibrators

Over the weekend I purchased a color calibrator, the X-Rite i1. Color calibrators put all the color variables (hue, saturation, luminance) back into proper alignment. I’m not sure how monitor colors get knocked out of alignment, but after running the program it is clear to me they do: It’s like I have a new computer: The colors are fresh, the edges crisp and clean. Putting your monitors colors back into alignment means that blue is blue, and not shown as one of the (seemingly) infinite variations, which is important when editing photos…. Read More

Lost time and the dancer

I sat down at my computer around three this afternoon intending to leave at 3:30. I looked up and it was 10:30 — Damn you Lightroom! The short version (I will flesh out later) is I went to a school function yesterday and today and went nuts with my camera. I prefer to bracket my shots, sift through and find the ones which communicate my intention. It’s a lot of work. Nothing difficult, but looking, rating, comparing, reviewing the selections and doing it again take time. Next I start editing. To teach… Read More

Contrasts

    Elementary schools were given colorful streamers for children to write down their good wishes for the world. Phrases like, “I want everyone in the world to try hard with a smile”, “May good feelings and smiles all over the world increase”, “All the children of the world come together and make a peaceful world”. These were hung down different streets (from those on my previous post). Being of lighter paper they fluttered more in the breeze providing a sound like leaves and the reflected light of dozens of rainbows with… Read More

What it feels like traveling (sometimes)

I got back the other evening on a late shinkansen. I walked into my home, immaculately clean, lay fresh sheets on the bed, took and shower and slept for sixteen hours uninterruptedly. I had set 15 posts to upload here automatically during my holiday, expecting to chime in from time to time with “cellphoneography”, but they stopped self-posting. I apologize for that. Once I started island hopping keeping a charge in my i-devices became a battle, so I shut down all mail and anything push; used the cell camera when the taking… Read More

Self portrait: The Distance Between Us

self portrait

    I invite you to think on the title. By distance I mean to draw your attention to that space between the camera and the subject, the subject and the entrance. I hope that if you notice those gaps you’ll think on the space between where you are siting and where I am posting this. I took several shots but chose this one because the flair and the doors were in alignment along the axis. I cut the flair in half to show two halves of the same thing. The emblem… Read More

matsuri

Yasukuni Shrine summer festival

Loving Lightroom — Looking for feedback

I could use some suggestions, feedback, guidance. I know I’ve gone overboard with some of these — it’s a new toy — but I’d like to know what you think. My favorite is the black and white of the baby. I brought out the contrast then removed the color info. I used a similar technique with the young man but I put color into his skin tone. The little girl was a fairly, so I distorted the image and played with the color information (I’ll need to learn how to remove selective… Read More

The Fox, part one

(The first in a series.) This is the first act of an outdoor play. This character is the fox god Inari. The audience was filled with small children. The progression shows the character as he transformed into the awesome god he represents before he reaches down to those brave young people to be blessed. (You can click on them for full size versions.)

Summer heat

Summer in Japan. I grew up with heat waves above 100 degrees (38 degrees Celsius) and next to no humidity, so I appreciate the relatively cool and very moist heat over the Tokyo summer. Snow cones are the popular treat here. Called kakigori, vendors are around every major park. Everyone loves a snow cone. Those that don’t, well, they can chill with a beer wherever they like.

Permanence

People rest under the trees, enjoying the end of the day until it is late night. The blooms are short. We have to make the most of their moment. Stand apart from the crowd to see which is more permanent and then decide which to celebrate.